In our single class period today, partner teams worked on finishing their active reading of All Summer in a Day. Then, as a class, we completed a plot diagram map to document the key events of the story.
First day of the flip-flop pair:
Both groups took the grammar quiz for unit two - nouns.
Double Period Rotations: small groups met to review active reading notes and discuss "All Summer in a Day;" students independently worked on a grammar review sheet for Thursday's test; and we did more practice with writing with appositives. At the end of class, ASIAD reading partners paired back up to continue with the short story.
Single Period: after the quiz, students worked on a simile exercise. Anyone who needed extra time to complete last Friday's grammar classwork could use this time for that as
Notes in grammar spirals today about possessive nouns; then short rotations: continuing to buddy read "All Summer in a Day" and to make active reading notes, grammar classwork to practice plurals and possessives, and IRP time (for reading, blogging or editing posts). Also, all students were reminded that the IRP for term 1 is due next Friday.
Today after adding a second set of notes about similes to our interactive reading notebooks, we did some in-depth practice with documenting our thinking using active reading notes.
Since this is a story the class had read last year, they were able to focus on the active reading strategy (rather than try to do that AND read new information).
First, I modeled for the class what MY active reading looks like. I read aloud and then "thought-aloud" as I wrote notes on my text.
Then, students were paired up to try it out themselves. We talked about what this "buddy reading" should look like and what each partner was expected to do. We practiced for a short time, about ten minutes, then stopped to check in. Volunteers shared their active reading notes using the document camera to project their page on the board. We talked about the kind of text to mark and the kinds of comments to match with it.
Next, we talked about how much they should be writing. Here's where the ice cream metaphor comes in. "Vanilla" is a blank page - no notes at all. Basically, it's what the text looked like when I gave it to them. "Cookie Dough" represents some attempt at documenting their thinking, but it comes in "clumps" and isn't consistent throughout the text. "Chocolate Ripple" is a consistent mix of text and thinking (really, it's more text than thinking because there's more vanilla than chocolate swirl). But the balance is maintained throughout the story or novel. Finally, "Chocolate" is a heavy dose of notes and writing on the page -- so much that there is no white space left at all. With "chocolate" notes, there is no evidence that the reader did any choosing or determining importance when making notes because everything is marked. The goal is the "Chocolate Ripple" model.
Once teams felt comfortable, they continued reading the story together and collaborating on active reading notes. We did not finish the story today (this kind of reading takes much longer ... the buddy reading and the active notes are both intentionally designed to get the readers to SLOW DOWN), but we did make EXCELLENT progress. They did a marvelous job of trying this out fairly independently for the first time. We will finish up the story tomorrow, and then continue with other short stories next week.
After adding notes about how to make plurals in our grammar spirals, we spent time today learning a strategy to help when completing short answer responses.
Step 1: ECHO the question. Use words from the original question in the first sentence of the answer. This helps to organize the response and to ensure that the response is both a complete sentence AND really answering the question.
NEXT: A-C-E. This means "Answer, Cite evidence, and Explain the evidence." The "echo" and the "answer" can all be part of the first sentence. Citing evidence is simply explaining why you think what you think or how you know what you know. The last step, explaining the evidence, is where the writer connects the evidence to the answer ... how that evidence fit?
So - now you know how to ACE your short answer responses!
We created a new section in our IRNs today -- this one for Figurative Language. The first entry in that section was all about SIMILES.
Rotational groups today did Word Voyage, grammar classwork, and wrote poems about vocabulary words.
In Writing Lab, we focused on two noun strategies: using appositives and writing with exact nouns. Both of these strategies help us to write more precisely, so that our message to readers is more easily communicated and understood.
In small groups today we revisited the short story from yesterday (in which we did plot work) and looked for examples of sensory details -- details from the author that help the reader imagine what something in the story looks like, smells like, tastes like, sounds like or feels like. We chose paragraphs from the story to read aloud and then identified the words that connected to one of the five senses, and drew a symbol to code the sense in the margin of the story. During this work, several groups noticed a need for a sixth symbol -- something to represesnt the emotions a character might be feeling. We practiced documenting our thinking in the text (ACTIVE READING) and connecting text to thinking (METACOGNITION).
We also did more practice with